noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural
(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising
b obsolete : destiny
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to sprinkle or adorn with stars
2a : to mark with a star as being preeminent
b : to mark with an asterisk
3 : to feature in the most prominent or important role the movie stars a famous stage personality

intransitive verb

1 : to play the most prominent or important role
2 : to perform outstandingly



Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

luminary, sphere, sun

Synonyms: Adjective

astral, starry, stellar

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Examples of star in a Sentence


They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars.


The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook.


looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And then there is the highlighter pink hair, as seen on Japanese pop stars Amiaya, who showed off their twinning bubblegum pink blunt bobs in Florence. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The First Breakout Beauty Trend of 2019 Is Already Blowing Up on Instagram," 10 Jan. 2019 In the early hours of January 1, the pop star posted a sweet photo of herself planting one on Blake with her signature red lip. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Gwen Stefani Posts Intimate New Year's Photo With Boyfriend Blake Shelton," 2 Jan. 2019 Today, DJs and pop stars are bringing cumbia into the electronic music realm. Johnny Harris, Vox, "How this African beat spread through Latin America," 11 Dec. 2018 The all-star issue features a cover illustration by Roz Chast that shows a family of happy robots gathered Norman Rockwell-style around a Thanksgiving table. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Learning to love robots," 20 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, synthetic characters are slowly finding their way into mainstream culture, with figures like virtual pop star Hatsune Miku and CGI Instagram models familiarizing the public with this sort of creation. James Vincent, The Verge, "China’s state-run press agency has created an ‘AI anchor’ to read the news," 8 Nov. 2018 And fan-favorite Judy Greer stars as Curtis's daughter, Karen Strode, which is also awesome. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "The Custom Basement In 'Halloween' Is The Best Part Of This Sequel," 23 Oct. 2018 And just recently, she was seen rocking Reputation tour merch — an obvious nod to her ever-present friendship with fellow pop star, Taylor Swift. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez Wears "Choose Empathy" Sweatshirt to Pilates Class," 30 Dec. 2018 Carlos PenaVega and Adelaide Kane star in the new A Midnight Kiss, premiering Saturday, December 29 (8 p.m. ET) on the Hallmark Channel. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Hallmark's 'A Midnight Kiss' Was Filmed in a Romantic City That's Perfect for New Year's," 29 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the span of four decades, Kathryn M. Ireland has worked on the homes of some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities, written several books, and starred in the hit Bravo TV show Million Dollar Decorators. Christina Pérez, House Beautiful, "The Crazy Story About How Steve Martin Inspired Kathryn M. Ireland To Become A Designer," 10 Jan. 2019 Rita Moreno, who starred in the original West Side Story, also makes the list in printed corsets, as does Goodfellas babe Debi Mazar in an S&M leather bodysuit and a monochrome Tweety Bird ensemble. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Let Gabriel Held’s #unsungsherooffashion Be Your 2019 Style Touchstone," 7 Jan. 2019 The historical treasures were a part of the estates of Hubert Tannar, who passed away long after the war, and Cyril Woods, who in his youth starred alongside Elizabeth and Margaret. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "See Rare Photos from Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret's WWII-Era Christmas Plays," 8 Dec. 2018 The Suite Life and Home Alone stars — who starred in the comedy-drama Changeland with Seth Green — were rumored to be dating back in September 2017, and now are officially together. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, "27 Celebrities Who Dated Their Co-Stars IRL," 7 Dec. 2018 Along with Tatyana Ali, who starred in last weekend’s Christmas Everlasting, Jerrika is the first black actress to play a romantic lead in a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Who Is Jerrika Hinton? Meet the Star of Hallmark's ‘A Majestic Christmas'," 2 Dec. 2018 Family patriarch Matt Roloff shared a photo on Instagram on Sunday featuring his daughter Molly and youngest son Jacob, who no longer star on the reality show. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "Molly and Jacob Roloff Made a Rare Appearance With Their Family Over the Weekend," 23 July 2018 Regina King, who starred in the Netflix original Seven Seconds, was nominated for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie., "Issa Rae Finally Got An Emmy Nod & I Can't Stop Crying," 12 July 2018 Mosley’s trainer in Columbia, Devin Griffin, is from the St. Louis-area and has known MU coach Cuonzo Martin for years, according to the prospect, who stars for Rock Bridge High School, just down Providence Road from Mizzou Arena. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "Mizzou’s recruitment of this local prospect has heated up. The reason? More texting.," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Five-time World Player of the Year and four-time UEFA Champions League winner Messi leads the all-star lineup, with Real Madrid's back to back UEFA Champions League winning pair Marcelo and Kroos joining the game., "VIDEO: Pepsi Stars Including Lionel Messi and Toni Kroos Paint the World Blue in Stunning New Advert," 6 Mar. 2018 The all-star lineup of performers includes Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia and Shirley Caesar. Jeff Karoub, The Seattle Times, "Detroit saying farewell in royal fashion to Queen of Soul," 27 Aug. 2018 This year’s edition will take place on November 13, again in Laguna Beach, California, and features an all-star lineup of Kevin Systrom, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Hart. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: All in the Family," 23 Aug. 2018 Based on its all-star lineup and director—McKay is the man behind The Big Short, Succession, Anchorman, and the forthcoming Elizabeth Holmes/Theranos biopic, Bad Blood—Vice is shaping up to be seriously buzzy awards season bait. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "The New Vice Trailer Just Might Cure Your Bush Administration Nostalgia," 3 Oct. 2018 The black-tie event was completely star-studded, as celebrities including Tiffany Haddish, Paris Hilton, Joan Smalls, ASAP Rocky, Issa Rae, and Seth Meyers were in attendance. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rihanna Wore a Dramatic Lace Jumpsuit by Alexis Mabille To Her 4th Annual Diamond Ball," 14 Sep. 2018 Here's Gates, their star witness, is facing 290 years in jail perhaps. Fox News, "Giuliani: Mueller's investigation is obviously illegitimate," 9 Aug. 2018 Luc Belaire champagne has compiled an all-star lineup of hip-hop compatriots as global ambassadors, which include A Boogie, G Herbo, Dave East and Rick Ross, who joined the brand back in 2013. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Dave East Teams Up With Rick Ross for 'Fresh Prince of Belaire': Listen," 6 July 2018 Guests will be treated to an all-star celebrity lineup featuring Mike Colter (Jessica Jones), William Shatner (Star Trek), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), and so many more. Mike Stocker,, "Video: Florida Supercon fans show off their stunning costumes," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

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Statistics for star

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for star

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for star



English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky

: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives

: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.

: to have (someone) as the most important performer

: to perform extremely well


\ ˈstär \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.



Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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More from Merriam-Webster on star

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with star

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for star

Spanish Central: Translation of star

Nglish: Translation of star for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of star for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about star

Comments on star

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